Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How I Got Started - Part 3

So that this post makes sense narratively (and we're all about the narrative) I'd probably read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven't already. Plus, I've updated those posts to include trailers from the projects.

Okay, continuing where I left off last time: I had just finished what I considered to be my most polished work, Days of Homecoming, and began thinking about what the last video for ASB would be. Then, it hit me.

Star Wars. Yeah, that's right, Star Wars. I had been doing a bunch of research on the internet, wanting to take my video production to the next level, and I discovered a ton of users out there were replicating stuff from Star Wars: lightsabers, laser blasts, even building ships in 3D Max and Maya.

So, I was playing around with After Effects and did a little light saber test using a bamboo cane. I showed it to McD and told him my idea and he thought we could maybe pull it off. We decided to make it the ASB's last video, to introduce the the new officers and the plot would be about this Jedi team trying to find them.

I basically spent my last semester working on this thing. From November, when I first pitched the idea to McD and the ASB, to the premiere on April 1st, I spent the vast majority of my time making an hour long Star Wars film called Episode X: The Quest for the Jedi. (That's suppose to be Episode 10 by the way, not the letter X.)

I remember when I first told my friend Chris about it. We went to Home Depot and came back to his garage and built lightsaber handles. We tromped out to different part of the state to get desert and snow locales; we staged and spent hours rehearsing lightsaber fights; we spent our Spring Break shooting the film; I was once nearly attacked by a guard dog after staging at Sammamish High School until 4 in the morning working on the ships and space shots in 3D Max; we got permission to shoot in a church on Easter Sunday; and, thanks to my dad, we got permission to use a flight simulator at Boeing for our spaceship cockpit.

Ultimately, because we had people dying in it, and guns and lightsaber fights, we decided to change the assembly to nighttime. It would be BHS's first ever nighttime assembly. And, in order to get people to come (because, hey, who wants to come back to school at night) we decided to cut a trailer and show it two weeks prior to the assembly. You can see it below:

The trailer got everyone psyched but I still had the movie to finish. I was doing EVERYTHING myself. I was editing, I was doing all the effects, I had some help with the 3D Max stuff but for the most part that was all me too. I was exhausted. I hated everyone. I was frustrated.

I was literally editing up to and after the premiere. There was a section in the middle of the movie that I didn't get edited, so I had to throw up a lame scroll telling you what happened. And it was a part where are hero was suppose to look like he was killed but actually wasn't. So, in the scroll, I had to word that section in a weird way. Like, "Willtri appears to have died." Just bad.

And, I'm as putting it tape, I realize about a 3rd of the way through that the sound got knocked out of sync. The premiere was suppose to happen at 7. It's not 7:30. So, I rewind to an okay spot, realign the audio and do a shit splice in. Meanwhile, I'm getting calls from McD, my parents, the ASB, my friends. "Where are you?"

So, finally it finishes and I rush out with my dad who drives me up to the school. I hop out and walk into the gym. It's packed. Ended up being something like 1300 people there: parents, kids, teachers. We'd had a wide screen built specifically for the film, a $10,000 sound system was brought in, people brought in couches, pop corn, the concession stand was selling snacks. And as I walk in, this big cheer rises out of the audience. That felt good. Everyone was there, willingly (unlike other assemblies where the students are forced to be there), to watch something I created.

I didn't even want to watch the film but the ASB made me stay. It wasn't my best work but it was a lot of fun and a great treat to have that kind of turnout. I was even written up in the local newspaper.

And then it was over. I finished school, graduated, and was off to Fordham University in the fall.

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. It might have been painful but most kids don't get to premier the fruits of their labor (emphasis labor) to 1300 willing audience members you know?